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Feature Story | Mathematics and Computer Science Division

Four PIs in M2ACS are awardees in DOE’s Early Career Research Program

Each year the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science selects young scientists from across the nation to receive funding as part of the DOE Early Career Research Program.

The M2ACS (Multifaceted Mathematics for Complex Energy Systems) project is delighted to announce that one-fourth of its PIs have been awarded this prestigious recognition.

Jonathan Weare, from the University of Chicago, was named an Early Career Awardee for research in rare event sampling, as applied to energy systems, climate, and chemistry application. He is the only university awardee in applied mathematics for 2015. In the M2ACS project, Weare uses rare event sampling to solve the difficult problem of computing the probability of cascading blackout events occurring. One such an event was the 2003 Northeast blackout, which affected more than 55 million people in North America. 

He joins three of his M2ACS colleagues who were previously awarded this recognition: Alexander Tartakovsky (PNNL) for research in stochastic systems in 2010, Victor Zavala (ANL) for stochastic optimization in 2012, and Emil Constantinescu (ANL) for error models of dynamical systems in 2014. These researchers occupy key roles in the M2ACS project. Tartakovsky works in characterizing the uncertainty on short time scales for renewable energy sources such as wind farms. Zavala uses stochastic optimization for determining new energy operation methods that ensure that uncertainty in electricity supply and demand allows for safe and reliable operation of gas and electric systems. Constantinescu investigates new methods for simulating time dependent systems that can faster predict their behavior, which could allow grid operators to identify the system vulnerabilities in real time.